Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hummus for everyone!

I came across this article in today's New York Times, reminding me that I long ago promised the ladies at my sister's bridal shower to post my recipe for hummus. (Sorry!) The article, chronicling the increase in popularity of hummus for Americans over the last decade or so, highlights the basic principle of this middle eastern spread: anything goes. Making hummus is not a science. There is no exact recipe. As the matriarch to the Holy Land hummus-making enterprise Mrs. Wadi suggests, it's "eat, eat, eat, taste, taste, taste." If it's a dip that tastes good and has chick peas somewhere in the ingredients list, you can call it hummus.

I've been making hummus for a while now and my method is fairly straight-forward. Unfortunately, using a food processor for this recipe is non-negotiable. Blenders, whether hand-held or standing types, are more frustrating than this simple recipe is worth. If you like eating, however, I recommend investing in a food processor. Aside from the toaster and tea kettle, it's the one kitchen gadget I consistently use.

Makes approx. 2 cups

1 can (14 oz.) chickpeas, drained
1/4 c tahini (sesame seed) paste
1 tiny piece of garlic (about 1/2 a small clove)
juice of 1 lemon (1/4 c from bottle)
1 tsp cumin powder (optional, but tastes good)
salt to taste
cayenne for heat, if desired

In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, tahini and garlic until a coarse paste. Add lemon juice and cumin keep pulsing. Add small amounts of water to the mixture, about 1 Tbsp at a time and pulse until the hummus has a smooth creamy texture. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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